Waldsee, Bemidji. 10:30 AM Saturday morning: The first cars with students and their teachers from North Dakota State University arrive at the Gasthof for a 3 hour in-depth tour of the cutting edge, modern Passivhaus. Today is the second time that professors of architecture at NDSU, Darryl Booker and Joan Vorderbrueggen, have brought 4th and 5th year architecture students to the BioHaus.
Students and teachers discover first-hand how integrated planning and design makes it possible to build to the strict Passivhaus Standard on energy consumption while creating a comfortable, multi-purpose living space with aesthetic architecture and a healthy living environment.
The tour included an hour long presentation on the basics of the Passivhaus Standard and the construction process of the BioHaus, followed by a culturally authentic Viennese Mittagessen served at Waldsee’s Gasthof zum goldenen Hirschen.
During the extensive tour of the BioHaus the visitors gained much insight into the complexity of designing for energy conservation. Participants were also able to check on the building’s vital signs through the use of the BioHaus’ elaborate monitoring system which measures, collects and graphs the buildings performance on a continuous basis.
What a smart idea to offer architectural students the opportunity to experience the future right now? Just a day later, in Sunday’s edition(3-25-07) of the Minneapolis Star Tribune readers were drawn to a multi-page article, “Home Sweet Home 2037”, discussing what future homes and lifestyle might look like in the year 2037. The described futuristic building features many energy efficient components, the use of renewable energy sources such as the ground source heat and solar thermal hot water system as well as green roof systems which the BioHaus already incorporates into its design. In fact the BioHaus and its architect, Stephan Tanner, are noted in the article as already showcasing a house of the future!